Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Well, at least there is less to cook this year.

I was a bit disappointed with our Thanksgiving festivities this year. The day began with The Macy’s parade on television while we cleaned the entirety of the house. The family was not expected to arrive until about 5:30pm - but they were not coming for dinner, just desert. They all had their own Thanksgiving dinners at their own houses.

This is what upset me. We have always had Thanksgiving dinner together in one house. Yes, I know it sounds crazy with the number of relatives I have, but we’ve never had too much trouble with it. In fact, I love getting everyone together like that, but I’m aware that this is not always possible. I just wish I knew in advance instead of gaining this tidbit of news hours before the aforementioned event. Actually, my mother didn’t know about all this until maybe two days before Thanksgiving and she wasn’t too thrilled either.

I can’t understand why everyone waited until the last possible moment to decide that they were going to split up Thanksgiving Dinner. Granted, it was less food for us to cook, but waiting that long can screw up your planning.

And it puts me in a small room with my immediate family for about an hour - believe me, it seems much, much longer especially when your accused of wringing your hands too much (I was cold), being overly sullen (Joey), etc. I have to say that it definitely wasn’t as torturous as previous years when we went around the table and listed everything we were thankful for. Typically, we would “forget” something and Mom would obligingly fill in the blanks.

Extended family members began to trickle in at about 6pm. Aunt Kathy didn’t make it there 'til about 7:30pm. This is mainly due to the general Langlois/ Annunziata belief that appointment times are merely suggestions to be modified at one’s convenience. And we have our own clock apparently...

What did strike me about the night was my ability to get stuck with all the little children the entire evening. Alyssa glued herself to my hip and Jack wanted to play the piano. I mind neither situation - its just when I cannot visit with the adults I begin to become irritated. Basically, I spent most of the time in the Sunroom with the doors shut - something my father insisted on. I did manage to escape when people started to leave. So, I did get a little time with my aunts, but only so much.

I think my mother needs to insist upon better planning for Christmas, so we don’t end up with this mess again.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The Crucible

Well, the Opera is finally over and truthfully, I will miss it although I need the break. Full-time school and 2 weeks of production hell do not mix. Not at all. Let me break down my life:

8 am - 1pm ish : class
2pm - 4pm ish: class
4 ish - whenever the hell we got done: opera

Dinner was added in their somewhere as well as homework in any spare moments. Needless to say, my schedule was tight. And believe it or not, there were several people who still hold that I had free time available in there. Lets just say that these people wanted me to do stuff for them, so I suppose if they could convince me that I had time, they would get what they want. For the record - I’m not that stupid and people who treat me as such are idiotic themselves.

But, the Opera was a blast aside from the stress it caused. Playing a crazy woman was a wonderful stress relief. I think I simply channeled all my stress and frustration into my acting. We were all discussing one night whether or not I understand right from wrong. Probably not. My character has had 7 still births and when the only surviving child becomes ill, she sends the girl to conjure the spirits of her dead sisters to inform her of the identities of the Devil’s servants harming her. There isn’t a drop of sanity in that especially when you consider that she is a Puritan woman - so factor in all the religious implications of her actions.

And I do have to add how much I enjoyed working with Matt as my husband. It hasn’t been easy though. The first time he tried to comfort me, he accidentally smacked me over the back. Ms. Munden and I both expressed our doubt of that gesture falling into the “comforting” category. But, he has learned and so have I. By Tuesday night, we noticed how we were responding to each other without thinking or at least, looking like we were thinking - finally. Much rejoicing took place backstage after we sang...granted most of it was because Tuesday was the last night and we were going to party soon afterward.

And we did and I’ll drive to my parents’ house this afternoon for Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Choral Festival 2005

I am definitely going to try and write more often. Even if no one reads it, I get some enjoyment from it.

I’ve been stressed out. Yeah, I know. This is nothing new. Anyway, interpersonal relationships seem to be at the heart of it all. Roommates can be crazy as well as family members. Joe is on tour #2 of Iraq which always worries me. Don’t get me wrong, I support his decision completely, but that doesn’t mean I have to like or understand it. Maybe its my own fear of being shot and killed transferred onto him.....or maybe its the fact that he’s in an area where he could be shot and killed that makes this choice slightly bewildering to me.

The Crucible is in less than two weeks and the rehearsal/ set creation schedule is getting a bit ridiculous. Apparently, now we are painting the set Friday and Saturday, practically all day and I’ll bet all night. Not to mention, I have two other fraternity functions those evenings. So, Sunday will be my “homework day.” That’s exactly how I would like to spend my birthday - writing papers. Hopefully, all the work I’ve been doing this week will pay off and I can go to the Chamber Singers’ Concert that day. I might just go anyway to get out of my apartment and take a break. But Hams or anything afterward might not be an option.

The Choral Festival was today and we had to maintain control over 1500 high schoolers and their teachers and parents. Many prayers were recited prior to the event.

I started the day at 5:40am and managed to carry a cooler full of hot dogs to the music building before heading over to Wright by 7:30am. Doughnuts and coffee were distributed - I had my tea - and a choir arrived early. The scramble began. Almost everything was ready by that time, but we had no afternoon seating chart. Understand that we had to figure out how to fit 1500 choristers into the Auditorium in a neat and efficient way. Well, somehow the powers that be decided that this would be a task that came naturally to me. I accepted and spent about a half an hour (all the time available to me) counting seats and assigning choirs.

The test came at about 12:30. The choirs drifted in, one by one, and attempted to discern their seats. Luckily, we taped off each section with signs. Still, problems arose quickly. One large choir of about 200 students had trouble understanding that they needed to change locations from the morning session. That botched about 3 other choirs. Another choir discovered that although listed on our map, two of their assigned rows didn’t exist. Even though everyone was being seated in a timely fashion - thank God - the situation raised a few individual’s ire.

Want to take a guess who all this frustration was aimed at?

Need I tell you?

Yours truly. I handled it well, but I certainly didn’t appreciate the treatment I received especially from a particular person who shall remain unnamed. I just ignored the generalized stupidity thrown at me and continued to do my job as best I could.

I did have my moment of weakness though. The Festival had ended, the students sent to the buses, and we returned to 105 for pizza. I walked back alone focusing on the ill-fated seating chart. I just couldn’t understand where I had made a mistake. I still don’t, actually. I had been deprived of sleep, stressed and abused by stupid choral directors and the easiest thing to blame was the paper I was holding.

I sat on the floor and studied the map because I could feel myself giving in. Out of my peripheral vision, I noticed a small number of concert attired people encircle me. I kept my eyes down. I knew I would cry. Then, I felt a gentle hand shake my knee and a voice inform me that “only losers sit by themselves.” The hand belonged to Tony; the voice to Fred. Katy sat across from me and wanted to know if I was ok. Of course, I lied and of course, they knew better.

Against my will, tears snuck out and sprinted down my cheeks. I brushed them away roughly, but apparently they knew to have reinforcements ready and waiting. Trying to avoid embarrassment, I stood and turned away. Yet, these people did not leave - in fact, they closed in on me. They were willing to retrieve pizza if I didn’t want others to see my face. I wanted to get control and as always, do things myself. And I did shortly after but, I did allow for a considerable number of hugs.

I think I’ve found good friends in an area where I didn’t expect. The Chamber Singers/ ACDA group has always been kind to me, but there was always a dividing line as well. We didn’t hang out. We didn’t talk unless it was business related. Now, it seems like that line has been severely smudged. Even Bara has been treating me differently - to an extent.

I have found new friendships in Tony and Fred while deepening the ones with Katy and the others. Tony and Fred seem to have decided to look out for me and take every chance to tease me. Too bad both of them already have girlfriends (damn it, the good ones are always taken - or gay), but I am quite content with the brotherliness with which they view me.